Know the Principles of the Crafts

Characters: Klevetati Yoshino

She was still a bit short on sleep, but Yoshino began her shift early, anyway. She was down in the docking bay, where all the EVA gear was laid out, ready for the moment the Phoenix’s fighter patrols should spot the White Star 24. They were overdue to find it, Yoshino knew, and so there was no time to spare.

The gear, including suits, had already been laid out and checked by several of her colleagues from both the Operations and Science departments, but Yoshino told them that as Ops chief, she felt personally responsible to double-check things herself. That was half the truth, she reflected as she opened the first container, lifting out the suit within.

The other half was just as much personal as professional. Yoshino knew that if there was a saboteur aboard the Phoenix, these suits would be a prime target. She also knew that there were many ways one could sabotage an EVA suit so that it could fail, kill its occupant, and leave no trace of anything save an accidental failure.

She knew this because she had done it herself.

Her knack for understanding the ins and outs of just about anything mechanical or electronic had been employed by the clan to hack systems and sabotage all manner of equipment – including spacegoing gear. Nowadays she tried to put the ghosts of the dead at her door out of her mind, hoping that her work with the Anla’shok would, in time, put all of them to rest.

She worked over each suit in turn, taking her time, taking care, but ignoring the nametags attached. She didn’t want to know whose suit she was working on, particularly if it should be that belonging to the Exec.

As she worked, part of her mind returned to the night before, when in a moment of madness she had thought to remove another of her fingers. She hoped it didn’t get back to Kim. Somehow, she didn’t think it would. Doctor Stadler seemed to be the sort who kept such things strictly to himself.

Doctor Stadler … Yoshino sighed softly. What had it been in those deep gray eyes, the voice as he spoke of treachery, that had driven her to reach out to him? Even now she could feel her heart thump madly against her breastbone with the fear of it. He had left her at the door to her quarters, departing with a nod of the head, but what if –

No. Yoshino slammed that door in her mind hard, and forced herself to focus on what was in her hands and in front of her eyes at this moment. There was a job to be done, and she was honor-bound to do it with all she had.

She wanted no more ghosts at her door.

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